Harrow youth violence scrutiny review lacks rigour

It can only be good that Harrow council scrutiny committee commissioned a review into preventing youth violence as the fear of this crime is high  in the borough.
The purpose of the review was to investigate how the council work might contribute to reducing youth crime and anti-social behaviour.
While the rationale for the review is good, the Preventing Youth Violence Scrutiny Panel report (21 May 2019) has serious shortcomings. The report is more descriptive than evaluative, lowering its usefulness in tackling youth violence.
Much write-up is about the methodology that includes meetings with and references to the youth specific research/field work by the council, police and voluntary sector without evaluating the effectiveness and outcomes of their work, resulting in less well informed and inadequate recommendations.
YCOn the question of the failure to positively engage young people through meaningful activities, the Harrow council has a lot to answer, like the appropriateness of its youth services and the missed opportunities to engage youth. Bottom line is to provide activities to help keep young people away from crime. Young people also need to learn new skills or get advice about school or jobs.
Recent rise in the stabbings in Harrow has raised questions about the usefulness of the youth work, Harrow Safer Neighbourhood Board and the effectiveness of the Harrow Police & Crime Plan (PCP) priority to reduce the number of young people involved in youth violence and gang crime and to decrease the number of young people carrying offensive weapons.
Many believe that a lack of visible police officers in the streets and there being nowhere for young people to go in Harrow are reasons for a rise in violent crime in the borough.
The report is silent on these concerns!
Having detailed the youth work relevant to reducing crime, undertaken by various agencies and at various levels – council and voluntary – the report fails to identify the crucial need to have more and better coordination amongst the providers, a longstanding challenge for Harrow.
The report repeats the gap of intervention services for young people in the transition age group, growing drug use amongst young people and the need for a streamlined approach to ensuring all council strategies consider youth violence as driving out crime – all well known factors in the borough for quite some time.
Some recommendations have serious omissions: the key recommendation ‘each time a strategy or policy is reviewed a specific perspective on reducing youth violence should be included’ looks less meaningful without highlighting a need to map the work of the council where reducing youth violence could have taken place but is not.
While meeting the needs of young people through the Glasgow originated ’lens of a public health approach’ has been repeatedly articulated in the report, there is no appreciation that unlike Glasgow, Harrow has an exciting regeneration programme which could helpfully involve youth,  meet some of their needs and by implications help in reducing the youth-related crime on a long-term basis.